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sevensix 01-16-2013 02:20 PM

Running on an empty stomach?
Hi all,

I'm an old user of the food and exercise logs but new to the boards.

I've recently (today) started running again (despite the -6 degrees celcius & windy snowfall, yay me!) and I wanted to ask your opinion on running on an empty stomach. I run about 6.5k (just over 4mi) and today it took me just under 50 minutes (gotta start somewhere!)

Last time I was on a health and fitness kick a couple of years ago I only ever ran on an empty stomach and it didn't (and doesn't) feel bad at all, but I'm just wondering if it's the most efficient way to burn calories (as weight loss is my primary goal at the moment, general fitness a secondary one).

At the moment I'm having two cups of coffee and a piece of whole grain toast (and margarine) for breakfast every day so it's not too heavy, should I try having that first before a run? And how long do I need to wait before starting my run?

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

nottango 01-16-2013 09:08 PM

I run about the same distance, and usually do not eat/drink before I go. I do, however like to take a sip or 2 of hot coffee before I leave on really cold mornings (like today!), as it helps keep me warm when I start out. Can't be too much, though. Some people claim you're burning more fat by going on an empty stomach, as your glycogen stores have been depleted. I don't get involved with the science - I'm an early bird, and if I don't run in the morning, I usually won't run at all on most days.
I would recommend increasing the protein in your breakfast - it really helps with recoveryand satiety.

sevensix 01-17-2013 04:08 AM

Hey Nottango,

Thanks for reassuring me it's okay to go running on an empty stomach! And I shall heed your advice regarding protein, perhaps a boiled egg on top of the toast instead of margarine would do the trick? My next running day is tomorrow, I'll do that then.

Thanks again!

nottango 01-17-2013 10:32 AM

eggs are great - I don't usually take the time to make them. I love warm oatmeal made with milk or mixed with Greek yogurt on cold days. I also mix in chopped almonds. Yumm!

sw07 01-17-2013 04:04 PM

I prefer running on empty if it's an early morning run, but if it's a race day, then I'll eat some oatmeal and have a cup of coffee.

If it's an afternoon run, I'll try not to eat a couple hours before my intended run- I just feel too sluggish and full- at least for the first few miles. I'll also pack a couple of Cliff bars and some gatorade / powerade for the recovery after the run.

sevensix 01-25-2013 05:09 AM

Yeah I've understood that on a race day it's important to eat beforehand, and I intend to when my 10k race comes around in May. It's good to hear someone else is running on an empty stomach as well!

nottango 01-25-2013 11:19 AM

long runs are different...
My routine is totally different for long runs (up to 15.5 miles during the fall). I wake at the same time (early) and eat some cereal (I prefer Honey-Nut O's, just about 1/2 cup without milk) and coffee. After I use the restroom, I take off. I bring Clif Bars, and share them with my running buddy (My dog Tango!) during the run with plenty of water.
The BEST recovery for me is Instant Breakfast, followed by a warm bath with Epsom salt. I feel totally depleted when I reurn from the run, but totally fine when I emerge from the tub!

cerra71 01-25-2013 01:21 PM

empty stomach in the morning, unless it is a race, i do wheat toast with peanut butter or a banana at least 2 hours before. i use the gatorade chews during long runs, i LOVE them! and usually after i don't have much of an appetite until hours later to eat.

zacgagnon83 03-12-2013 06:35 AM

Running with empty stomach better for good health and u can take bannana, some other fruits after running. Fruits good for health

Annawoodford 04-10-2013 12:45 PM

Any difference in the type of calorie being burned when working out on an empty stomach or after a small meal (I stress small). You won't be burning more fat just because you haven't eaten for a few hours. In fact, it may be the opposite.

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